Why I Always Pray at the End of the Day

We didn’t accomplish everything we should have. God reminds us we didn’t need to.

JUSTIN WHITMEL EARLEY| APRIL 22, 2019

Why I Always Pray at the End of the Day

One of my pastor friends told me he gets genuinely sad every evening because there’s always so much more he wants to do with the day. I suspect we’re all something like this. The evening brings me face to face with the reality of my limited life. There’s so much we wanted to do or at least that we felt we should do.

We’re frustrated because we had no time for free time. Or we’re embarrassed because we squandered it all on free time.

The evening, then, can be a time of severe self-judgment. I often find myself lying in bed and facing the reality that I spent the whole day trying to justify my existence on earth. The scary reality hangs from the ceiling like a bulb that won’t turn off. Does any of it matter?

That’s a worrisome thought, and because of it, I want to tune everything out. And many of us do. A drink sounds nice; two sound better. Sex sounds good; porn is easier. A conversation would help, but binging on TV will let me tune out. Catching up on reading would be restful; Twitter has some notifications that are probably more urgent. Lauren and I should spend some time talking; talking is hard, and there’s a podcast of a sermon that everyone said we should listen to.

The exhaustion of the day places us into a twilight where it isn’t easy to make the right decisions. Because our bodies and our minds and our souls are all bound up together, we have trouble making choices. The business world calls it “decision fatigue.” The evening is a time of vulnerability. We haven’t spent the day so much as the day has spent us. When our exhaustion gives way to our addictions, we’re exposed for who we really are.

This is where an evening prayer can make one last and important turn in the day. Perhaps it’s once the work is done, the dishes are clean, or the kids are asleep that we pause to pray, to purposefully frame the evening in rest instead of letting it slip into something else. Shall we lie awake in bed, letting all the replay tapes run? Shall we browse our phones for some recent celebrity scandal to bounce meaninglessly around our brain? Or shall we walk intentionally toward the rest we know we need?

No one can sleep while believing she needs to keep the world spinning. But real rest comes when we thank God that we don’t need to, because he does. Thus we kneel by the bed and place the period of God’s mercy and care for us at the end of the day. It doesn’t matter whether you feel spiritual or not. It doesn’t matter whether you know what to say or not. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve said the same thing every night for a month. It’s just habit. You say your prayers until your prayers say you. That’s the goal.

 

Original here

Advertisements

Four Keys To Being A Woman Of Faith

May 12, 2019

In the times that we are living in, God is looking for some women who will seek after Him, and be willing to set that good example of what virtue looks like before their peers. From God’s Word, I have identified four key characteristics, which each Woman of Faith should strive to possess:

NOTE: Even though I’m using women for the subject matter, as always with God’s Word, everything said applies for myself and my fellow brothers, also.

1. Yield to God’s Will
Mary

Luke 1:26-38, gives us the account of God sending the angel Gabriel to deliver the message that she’d been chosen to give birth to the Savior of the World. After hearing Gabriel’s explanation of what would occur, Mary does not hesitate in yielding to God’s plan.

While sometimes it may take a while, whenever people attempt to do things their own way and by how they feel within their personal emotions, eventually issues will arise. We don’t know what the future holds, and therefore don’t always realize the severity of the consequences of our actions. God is all knowing, and always has our best interests in mind.

Ladies, regardless of whatever you have endured or maybe currently enduring, God does have a plan for your life. God knows all of your strengths, because He has given them to you. He also knows the areas where you struggle and are limited.

The Lord is not looking to put you in a demeaning position, but instead He desires to empower you by filling you with His Holy Spirit, so that you can discover your life purpose and bring glory to Him.

Your starting point for success will always begin with seeking God’s guidance, listening to His instructions, and being willing to follow His plan.

2. Dare to Be Different
Rahab

In Joshua 2, we learn of Rahab. Rahab had two things going against her. She lives in a city where sinful acts abounded, and she herself was a harlot.(what we would today call a prostitute)

Now, in spite of what was going on around her, and the bad reputation she had, when presented with the opportunity to aid the two Israelite spies, Rahab chose to place her faith in God, and as a result she and her family were spared during the invasion of Jericho. In fact, Rahab is even listed in Hebrews 11’s Hall of Faith(Hebrews 11:31).

Are you a person who has struggled with resisting negative peer pressure? Have you garnered a bad reputation as a result of yielding to negative influences?

I want you to know that, just as Rahab decided to make a life change by placing her faith in God, you can do the same.

God forgives, and He is ready to give you a fresh new start. You don’t have to let negative people dictate your life, and drag you down. I challenge you to “Dare to Be Different.” I invite you to place your faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ.

With Jesus operating in your life, He will change your desires and give you the courage to resist negative peer pressure. He will assure you that your significance isn’t based upon your physical appearance, bedroom performance, education, or bank account, but your true significance is based upon the truth that Jesus loves you: And He is teaching you how to encourage other people to trust and bring glory to God.

3. Believe the Promise
Shunammite woman

As we look at II Kings 4:8-37, we learn of a woman, who along with her husband, offered lodging and food to the prophet Elisha whenever he was in the area. Because of her kindness, Elisha prophesied and it came to pass that she conceived a son. After some years, a day came when the young man became ill and passed away. Now, many people would have lost faith and given up after such an occurrence, however the Shunammite woman refused to accept that God would bless her with a son, and then just take him away. She sought out the prophet, and insisted by faith that Elisha could restore her son, by God’s power. Because of her persistence and faith, her son was indeed restored to life.

There are many of you out there, whom God has promised certain things. Maybe it’s a spouse, a child, healing from an infirmity, a new job, etc… Perhaps it seems like everyone else’s prayers are being answered, but I want to encourage you to hold on to the promise. Continue to be faithful to the Lord, as you wait. God is not like man, the Lord will never lie to you. If you remain faithful to Him, everything God has promised you will come to pass; And you will rejoice when it does.

4. When you make God a promise…Keep it.
Hannah

I Samuel 1, gives us the account of Hannah. Hannah was one of two wives of a man named, Elkanah. Hannah had been unable to bare children, and to her dismay was often mocked by Elkanah’s other wife Peninnah(who had birthed several children). While visiting the temple, Hannah prays a silent prayer to God, vowing that if God will bless her with a son; that she would allow her son to serve at the temple for the duration of his life. God does indeed bless Hannah with a son, Samuel; And Hannah keeps her promise to allow Samuel to serve at the temple.

How many times have people found themselves in a dilemma, and in desperation, prayed to God saying something like, “Lord, I’ll never do this again if you get me out of this mess.” Or “I’ll do this or that with the money, if you’ll allow me to have this financial blessing.”; And once God grants their request, folks wind up breaking their promise.

It is better not to make a vow, than to make one and then intentionally break it. Let’s all be mindful of the promises that we make to others, and especially to God. God knows the desires of our heart, and how we will react once certain things are granted to us. Whenever He says “No” to our requests, it is because He knows that what we are asking for will either hurt us or that we aren’t spiritually mature enough to handle what we are asking for. There are times that He will allow us to have certain things, so that it will serve as a learning experience that we really didn’t need it in the first place.

I believe that a few key things, which will help us not to break our vows to God, is that we remain mindful that everything in this world is only temporary. And that the only thing of real true importance is that each of us will have to stand before Jesus Christ to give an account for all of the things we’ve done. If we will remember that this journey is all about God’s love for us, and us reciprocating His love by desiring to do the things that will please Him and bring glory to His name, then we will be Ok.

I would like to wish all of the Mothers, Grandmothers, Stepmothers, and those who serve in a Motherly way, a very Happy Mother’s Day!

 

Original here

The Sovereignty of God as Seen in Seeds and Flesh

JUNE 11, 2018 by STEVE SPURLIN, PHD

 

I enjoy finding little things in Scripture and nature that, if we are not careful, get overlooked in our observations.  I think this may be one of them.

pumpkin seedsIn First Corinthians 15:35-41 Paul explains the differences in the physical makeup of different sectors of God’s creation.  First, Paul rebukes those who were denying the doctrine of the physical resurrection. The hypothetical questioner is addressed as “foolish” and Paul directs their attention to the seeds that farmers sow as a means of demonstrating how even nature demonstrates the logic of the physical resurrection (vv. 36-37).  A bare grain, “perhaps of wheat or something else,” is sown, but what it produces is much different from what went into the ground.

Here is the little tidbit that we may miss if we don’t pay close attention.  Paul says that “God gives it [whatever the it is] a body just as He wished” (v. 38).  He gives the seeds their own bodies “as He wished” (v. 38).

Furthermore, there are various types of flesh, one for men, another for beasts, another of birds, another of fish (v. 39).  Behind all of these is again that statement Paul wrote in verse 38, all of these were the product of God’s thelo, His will.

Then there are celestial bodies and earthly bodies each having their own glory that matches the body with which God endowed them (vv. 40-41). Paul even goes as far as to point out the fact that of the billions and billions of stars in our galaxy as well as those in the many other galaxies each of them is the result of His design, which reflects His desire.  In turn, His desire carried out is further evidence of His sovereignty in creation.

From my perspective it is just very interesting to see how God demonstrated so much attention to detail in His Creation and that even in the smallest things, such as the design of a seed, God’s sovereignty is there to be seen.

And we must stand in awe of His glory.

 

 

Original here

School pays massive fine for attacking Christians

Believers ‘should be free to choose without the government meddling’

(Image courtesy Pixabay)

(Image courtesy Pixabay)

A lawsuit that charged officials at the University of Colorado branch in Colorado Springs illegally discriminated against the members of a Christian club has been settled with a formal change to the school’s policies and a payment of more than $20,000 to the students.

Officials with the Alliance Defending Freedom revealed on Tuesday that UCCS settled a lawsuit that was triggered when they refused to grant registered status ot a student group.

“As part of the settlement, the university agreed to grant Ratio Christi registered status, pay over $20,500 in damages and attorneys’ fees, and update its policies to ensure that a student club may require its leadership to promote the purposes of the club and hold beliefs consistent with the group’s mission,” the ADF reported.

“We commend the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs for quickly implementing this common sense policy reform,” said ADF Senior Counsel Travis Barham. “It would be absurd for the university to require the vegan student group to appoint a meat-lover as its president.

“Thankfully, the university has acknowledged its error and announced a policy that respects students’ rights to free association, no longer forcing Christian students to let atheists or other non-Christians to lead their Bible studies in order to become a registered club.”

Ratio Christi is a Christian apologetics organization and seeks to defend the Christian faith and explain how the Bible applies to life.

It always has had the policy that all students can attend and join. But it “requires that those who lead the Christian organization share its religious beliefs.”

Because of that, the school had refused to allow it to participate on campus like any other student group.

“Like any other student group at a public university, religious student organizations should be free to choose their leaders without the government meddling,” said Tyson Langhofer, the chief of the ADF’s Center for Academic Freedom.

“Today’s university students will be tomorrow’s legislators, judges, university presidents, and voters, and we’re grateful the University of Colorado, has chosen to correct course, encourage diversity of thought, and protect students’ constitutional freedoms.”

The case developed late last year when the school made known its demand that the Christian group would have to be accepting of an atheist or other non-Christian should they want to lead.

The lawsuit challenged the school’s assumption that it can deny registered status to groups if they select leaders that share the group’s religious perspectives.

It also pointed out other discriminatory actions by the school against the Christian group, including that “non-religious groups are allowed to select members who support their purposes. And the university allows fraternities that admit only men and sororities that admit only women to continue as registered student organizations, in contradiction to the university’s policy against ‘discriminating based on sex.’”

The school policy now concedes, “All student clubs are permitted to require their leadership to promote the purposes of the club, to ascribe to sincerely held beliefs of the club, and/or to act in accordance with club standards.”

https://www.wnd.com/2019/05/school-pays-massive-fine-for-attacking-christian-club/


Related

https://www.wnd.com/2019/05/u-s-school-fails-student-for-refusing-to-recite-islamic-prayer/

The Clock is Ticking

May 15, 2019 By Rob Pue

The clock.  Is ticking.  None of us are getting any younger, whether we are 9 or 90, time speeds on.  In fact, the older I get, the faster time seems to fly.  I don’t know why.  Perhaps it is God’s way of reminding us that life is short, and we are to make the most of it.  Ephesians 5:16 tells us to:

“Redeem the time, for the days are evil.”

It is my hope that this message serves to make us all think more deeply about the things that really matter, the things of eternity.  Because this world will pass away, and WE will pass away, and all of us will live SOMEWHERE for eternity, whether in heaven or in hell.  Scripture tells us that it is:

“appointed unto man once to die, and after that, the judgment.”

In other words, there are NO second chances.   Using your God-given freewill, which will you choose?  Peace with God, a place in His Kingdom?  Or eternal separation from Him, with unending sorrow, torment, misery and regret?

TODAY is the day of salvation.  You don’t even know if you will be here tomorrow.  None of us does.  Our lives can be snuffed out instantly, like a vapor at any time.  Today you are sitting here listening to this message.  Have you considered that TODAY something unexpected could happen?  And that within three or four DAYS from now, you could be gone?  Six feet underground, the door of opportunity to “get right with God” gone forever as well.

Today I am 53 years old.  When I was 18, a schoolmate was killed in a hunting accident.  When I was 21, my girlfriend fell asleep while driving and was killed instantly — just before Christmas.  When I was 30, another friend my same age found himself in financial trouble with his business and committed suicide.  Five years later another friend’s 14-year-old daughter was killed while getting the mail when she was struck by a van.

Why am I telling you this?  What do all these premature deaths have in common?  I was a Christian.  And I never witnessed to any of them.  I remember my Mom’s haunting question after my girlfriend was killed… “Was (she) ready to meet Jesus?”  The truth is, I didn’t know.  I did not know!  Today, many years later, I still don’t know.  I am convicted in my heart by my lack of Christian witness, my non-existent testimony to these friends and loved ones.  I HAD the opportunities — GOD GAVE them to me…but I never spoke up.

How many of you are the same way?  Why don’t we speak up and share the Good News of God’s grace with our friends, family, loved ones, co-workers?  We, as Christians, have the information.  At least we SHOULD.  We should all, as we read in Timothy:

“study to show thyself approved, a workman, who needeth not to be ashamed.”

And 1 Peter 3:15:

“…in your hearts revere Christ as Lord.  Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you, to give the reason for the hope that you have…”

HAD studied.  In my self-righteousness and pride, I believed I had shown myself to “be approved, a workman that need not be ashamed.”  But by not being PREPARED (or courageous enough) to give that answer, to share the Word of God with the lost and perishing, I AM also ashamed.  I should have said something.  I should have spoken up.  Yet I remained silent.  Until it was too late.  As a follower of Christ, even as a teenager, I had my marching orders.  I was called out by GOD to be Salt and Light.  Yet, my cowardly, treasonous heart kept my mouth silent.  Yes, I am ashamed.  And so I should be.

No more.  As Christians, we cannot afford to remain silent.  Occultism, Wicca, Buddhism, New Age Spirituality, Transcendental Meditation, Islam, “Chris-lam” — all these things are out there.  All THEIR disciples are preaching, unashamedly, their false doctrines, while those of us who name the name of Christ are too ashamed of our King to say a word.  Yeah.  My heart is convicted by that truth.  How about yours?

So, let’s get to the heart of the matter.  Friends, loved ones… If you are currently NOT a Christian, or if you currently have ANY DOUBT as to where you will spend eternity, I plead with you now to listen.  I AM going to tell you God’s honest truth.  You don’t know what tomorrow holds, or even what the rest of today holds for you.  You do not know the number of your days.  TODAY could be the end for you.  Are you ready for that?  Have you even considered that?

Today, many follow the lies of false gods and false religions  — and even apostate so-called “Christianity” —  trying to live “spiritual” lives, but they will have nothing to do with the only ONE by whom they can be saved.  They choose to worship “comfort” and fleshly, worldly desires.  Money, entertainment, sex, drinking, drugs, recreation, relaxation, etc.  But Satan doesn’t care what you worship, as long as you don’t worship Jesus.

But WHY do they treat Jesus (even His NAME) with such disdain?  Simple:  because He is the ONE and ONLY TRUE Savior, the only One through Whom we can return to God.  And Satan, the enemy of our souls, has blinded them to that truth.  It’s fine to embrace ANYTHING else, but say the name of “JESUS” and it makes peoples’ skin crawl.    I guarantee you will never get that reaction from the name “Buddha.”  Why?  Because Buddha is a lie.  They also have that reaction because Jesus REQUIRES something of them: repentance and a heart-change.  And Jesus convicts hearts of their own sin — because instinctively, we all KNOW, deep within, that JESUS IS the ONLY, way, truth and life.  Still, many will trust in their own good works to get them to heaven, and say things like, “I do the best I can, I live a good life and try to be honest and fair with everyone.  I’m a good person and I am sure if there is a God, He will understand.”  That’s just plain delusion.  Willful ignorance.

Others are so enamored with the things of this world, they’d rather remain comfortable.   Some will cite the hypocrisy of nominal Christians they have met, and quite frankly, I can’t blame them.  And sadly, some will flat out deny the existence of their Maker, their Creator and decide that once you die, you’re just dead.  There is no eternity, only the here and now.  And still others just don’t care at all.

I’m not going to argue the point that the Bible is God’s Word, or that any part of it is not true.  As 2nd Timothy 3:16 tells us:

“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.”

The Bible IS God’s Word.  The fact that the majority of people HATE it — even though it contains the history of the universe, even though it is filled with precious ancient wisdom, even though it contains the very KEYS to the Kingdom of God — ought to be proof enough that it is the ONLY Book of truth that Satan attacks and men violently rebel against.

But whether you like it or not, truth is truth.  Truth doesn’t change just because it makes you uncomfortable.  It’s still the truth.  And here it is: there is ONE God, in three Persons:  God the Father, God the Son (Jesus Christ) and God, the Holy Spirit.  He is the Creator of all things.  He is your Maker.

Secondly, God is not fair.  If He were fair, He’d give us all the punishment we deserve.  No, God isn’t fair, God is gracious, patient and kind.

“He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”(2nd Peter 3:9).

Some will argue that a “loving” God would never send anyone to hell.  The truth is, He DOESN’T.  If you end up in hell, YOU GO THERE by your own choice.  Not God’s.  If you end up eternally separated from God, DO NOT BLAME GOD.  You see, God has put stumbling blocks and warning signs in your path over and over and over again to KEEP YOU from going to hell.  In order to end up there, you have to ignore EVERY  Christian billboard you’ve ever driven past; every Christian radio broadcast you’ve ever stumbled across; every Christian meme on Facebook.  You have to despise every prayer of a Godly mother, father, grandmother or grandfather on YOUR behalf.  You have to ignore every Christmas carol you’ve ever heard.  You have to ignore the magnificence of God’s amazing Creation — ALL of Creation — including your own body and soul.  You have to scoff every time one of God’s children spoke TRUTH to you, out of their love and concern for you.   You have to snub your own nose at ALL of that.  You see…The choice is heaven or hell — life or death — is YOURS.

People today are more self-indulgent, more narcissistic than ever.  Most everyone BELIEVES they are a “good person.”    But the truth is, we have all sinned grievously against our Creator.  We have all broken His commandments.  As descendants of Adam, we are born sinful.  We come this way.  “All have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23).  And what happens to sinners?  “The wages of sin is death.” (Romans 6:23).  Death is ETERNAL separation from God, and ETERNAL punishment.  OR it CAN BE the gateway to ETERNAL LIFE!  Again, the choice is YOURS to make.

Many will claim to be a “good person,” and therefore DESERVING of Heaven.  But Scripture says otherwise

“There is none that doeth good.  No NOT ONE.”

Sorry, not even you.  Not even me. (Psalm 53:3).  “All our righteousness is as filthy rags,” before God. (Isaiah 64:6).  Even the apostle Paul had to admit, in light of God’s holiness, he was the “chief of sinners.”

“But nobody can live up to the expectations of the Ten Commandments,” you say.  “So why did God give us His law?  He knows we can never live sinless lives!”  Correct.  God is not surprised when we sin.  But He gave us His laws, His Ten Commandments, to show us His requirements.  To show us His standard of holiness.  To give us a righteous “moral compass.”

Then, because He knew that none of us could ever merit heaven on our own, He Himself – the Creator, YOUR Maker – left His throne in heaven, assumed human form in the life of Jesus Christ, and gave Himself up to be horrifically murdered as the atoning sacrifice for the sins of those who repent.  There is no greater love.

Before the “fall” of mankind, before sin entered the world, the Bible tells us that all Creation was “good.”  AFTER sin entered in, Scripture tells us the ground was cursed, and bore thorns and thistles, which Adam (and all of us) now have to contend with as a result of that sin.  I find it interesting that after beating Jesus to a bloody pulp, His murderers went one step further:  they placed upon His holy head a crown of THORNS.  You see, when sin entered the world, the world was “cursed.”  But when Christ bore our sins on that cross, he WORE those thorns — and by doing so, He REVERSED the curse.  Through His sacrifice, we are ABLE now, to come BACK into right relationship with God;  we are ABLE now, to have all our filthy rags washed white as snow — IF we choose life in Jesus Christ.  But the choice is ours, and the clock is ticking….

You cannot earn your way to heaven – you’ll never be good enough.  You cannot buy your way into heaven – God doesn’t want your money;  He owns it all already.  Things won’t just all “come out in the wash.”  This is not a matter that will resolve itself on its own.  This is a matter that demands your immediate attention.

Living the Christian life is HARD.  Only a few — the Bible tells us — will choose that narrow, rocky road that leads to life.  You have to truly understand, you’re a lost sinner, a law breaker, someone who has not simply broken a law of man, but you’ve broken ALL the laws of God Almighty!  But the Bible says in 1 John 1:9:

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

In essence, He wipes the slate clean.  NOW, we can enter His gates.

It has nothing to do with being baptized as an infant, or being declared a Christian by a church or a minister because you recited a prayer or walked an aisle, or coming from a “Christian” home.  It has EVERYTHING to do with your heart.  In order to enter heaven, you must turn your heart back to God and make Him LORD of your life.   When you humbly repent, He will graciously welcome you into His arms as His child.  Until you do so, the TRUTH IS, you remain a child of your father, the devil.  No matter how “good” you think you are.

Noah preached for 100 years and never made one convert.  For 100 years the people had a chance to repent.  God made a way of salvation in Noah’s building of the Ark.  But then one day, that opportunity was lost forever.  He was gracious, kind, patient and longsuffering, even though the world was infinitely sinful.  The offer was there for salvation.  Until it wasn’t.  There came a day when the rain began to fall, and GOD HIMSELF shut the door to the ark and those outside were forever lost.  There were no second chances.

Friends, please take this seriously.  Forsake the things of this world and embrace this incredible gift of eternal life with your Creator.  Jesus said:

“I am the way, the truth and the life.  NO ONE comes to the Father, but by Me.”

Accept no substitutes.  No false “gods” that you create in your minds that are more to your liking, more accommodating to the sinful, selfish lifestyle you prefer to remain in.  The time of YOUR salvation is NOW, today.

“So as the Holy Spirit says, ‘today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts.’” (Hebrews 3:7).

Turn to Him, accept His offer and live.  Will you use your God-given freewill to make that choice now?  The clock…  is ticking.

Audio versions and transcripts of this message are available when you call me at Wisconsin Christian News, (715) 486-8066.  Or email Rob@WisconsinChristianNews.com.  Ask for message number 257.

As seen here at Wisconsin Christian News. Posted here with permission.

By Rob Pue, Publisher

WISCONSIN CHRISTIAN NEWS

PO Box 756

Marshfield, WI  54449

(715) 486-8066

http://www.WisconsinChristianNews.com

Original here

 

 

How to Deal with Bitterness and Resentment

Forgiveness is hard, but it sets us free.

by Anne Peterson

How to Deal with Bitterness and Resentment

Jenny was 92 years old when she died. For the 50 years I knew Jenny, she told the story over and over of a time her sister would not give her the dollar she needed for a pair of shoes. Her details made it seem like the offense had happened just days ago. She’d retold the story so many times she had memorized every tidbit. One message came through loud and clear. She would never forgive her sister for withholding that dollar from her. Like a magnet, this story pulled her back into all her hurt and injustice.

Bitterness starts out small. An offense burrows its way into our hearts. We replay it in our minds, creating deep ruts that will be hard to build back up. We retell our hurts to any available listener, including each sordid detail. We enlist support, pushing us further into our resentment. We hear the offending person’s name and cringe.

We decipher the offense as intentional and our offender as full of spite. We look for other reasons, both real or imagined, to dislike our villain. With each new piece of information, we form another layer of bitterness.

We fool ourselves into thinking no one will know, but anger and resentment have a way of seeping into everything. Resentment is like a beach ball we try to submerge in the water. No matter how valiant our efforts, it pops up with all its vitality, splashing everyone around.

Romans 12:18 says, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” So how can we do that? How can we prevent bitterness from moving into our hearts? How can we deal with our feelings instead of letting them grow into bitterness?

Know that God requires forgiveness.
God knew it would not always be possible to live at peace with some people. That’s why Romans 12:18 says, “If it is possible …” But God does require that we forgive others (Ephesians 4:32).

This is where the rubber meets the road. Our lack of forgiveness is why we choose to hold onto bitterness, letting it ripen into full grown resentment. While it looks like we are unable to forgive, sometimes we need to face that we are unwilling.

In the parable of the man who was forgiven a great debt (Matthew 18:24-35), we see the forgiven man immediately demands payment from someone who owes him a fraction of what he himself owed. Though he was shown mercy and grace, he was unwilling to extend it even in a small way.

Understand that we are to forgive because we are forgiven.
You can discern a person is trapped when their first response is, “You don’t understand what they did to me.”

We may not understand, but Jesus Christ does. He lived a perfect life, but was beaten, mocked, spit on, and hung on a wooden cross to die a cruel death. Yet, John 3:16 says that he loved the world enough to go through this. Sometimes we mistakenly think he died only for us, but when he died, he died for the world—including whoever offended you. We are told to forgive others just as Christ forgave us. Do they deserve it? No. Do we deserve it? Again, no. But still, he hung on that cursed tree because of his love for each of us.

When we have an unforgiving spirit, our eyes are not on him; they are fixed on ourselves. Once when I’d been hurt, I told God, “Someone should pay for this.” And in his kind, loving, tender way he said to me, “I paid.”

Pray for those you can’t forgive.
God already knows what’s going on inside of you. He knows your thoughts and he knows how the other person hurt you. He was there. We don’t have the capability in ourselves to forgive others. But God can empower us to forgive those who have hurt us (Philippians 4:13).

With a blank piece of paper before you, ask God to bring to mind anyone you need to forgive. If he gives you a name or two or ten, start praying for those on your list. Pray every day until you feel God melt that resentment you’ve been holding onto.

I have found it is impossible to be unforgiving toward those I am praying for. It’s not easy to start praying for them; it’s one of the hardest things I’ve done. But when I make that person an object of prayer, I open the door of my heart a little wider so that God can come in and breathe on my hardened heart, melting the icy resentment that is there.

Anne Peterson is a poet, speaker, and author of over 42 studies at ChristianBibleStudies.com. You can learn more about her at www.annepeterson.com.

 

Original here

Lives of the unborn are worth fighting for, no matter how they were conceived

 

May 17, 2019 By Kristan Hawkins

When it comes to gun violence in schools, people get outraged about children in danger of losing their lives. It’s a worthy concern. According to Education Week, in 2018 28 students were killed in school shootings, while so far in 2019, 2 children have been killed.

That is tragic. But it’s not about the math; it’s about the loss of life … and 30 lives forever gone are 30 too many. But have you noticed that when it comes to babies born during abortions — or viable babies aborted after 20 weeks — all you hear is that it’s not that many? But how many are there?

Consider this, according to the Centers for Disease Control and the abortion-industry think tank the Guttmacher Institute, “only” about 1.3 percent of abortions are late-term (after 21 weeks). With an abortion rate of 879,000 in 2017, that’s more than 11,400 increasingly viable babies at risk.

Those increasingly viable babies face pain, suffering and loss of life.

And what of those who may be exposed to infanticide, allowed to die only because they were born during an abortion, how many might there be?

USA Today notes: “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recorded 143 deaths between 2003 and 2014 involving infants born alive during attempted abortions,” with CDC also reporting “it is possible that this number (143) underestimates the total number of deaths involving induced termination.” In another report, the CDC also notes, “Although unlikely, the induced abortion procedure may result in a live birth.”

May? Many abortion survivors are alive and available to tell their own stories. Articulate people like Melissa Ohden, the founder of the Abortion Survivors Network, Josiah Presley or Claire Culwell, speak eloquently about life after almost death at the hands of an abortionist.

In fact, Ohden’s Abortion Survivors Network reports that 279 people have come forward saying that their birthday began in an abortion vendor’s office, in a life and death struggle from their first breath of life.

And how many infants lose their lives because of what happened on the night of their conception?

The New York Times proudly has proclaimed an often-reported number, that babies conceived in rape or incest are “only” 1 percent of those targeted with abortion. With an abortion figure of 879,000, that’s at least 8,790 people who were discriminated against based on the night of their conception.

Children conceived in rape are still children, unique and valuable, deserving of their own chance to make a mark on the world. A civil society does not execute children for the crimes of their fathers, yet when it comes to abortion the knee-jerk assumption is that they should pay the ultimate price rather than putting the focus on the criminal guilty of violence.

Consider that if my father commits a sexual assault today society would not allow his victim to legally kill me tomorrow. The sins of the fathers are not passed on to the children under our system of justice, and my ability to be seen and heard makes that kind of death unthinkable. As it should be. Yet children conceived in rape must endure the constant messaging that the world would be better off if they were dead, and many do end tragically through abortion.

Alabama legislators made a courageous and counter-cultural choice when they said that they cared most about mother and preborn child by focusing their law on the abortionist preying on women, by putting in protections for mothers whose lives were at risk and by telling the world that they loved the children whose stories began in a moment like rape or incest. That moment did nothing to detract from their worth or right to enjoy a chance at life.

In the United States, birth certificates are not issued with points awarded based on your parents’ race, income, marital status or the events on the night of your conception. Birth certificates note one thing: a unique human being has entered the world.

And as we look at the math, it’s clear that the victims of abortion for even the most “rare” cases still number in the thousands. How many need to die before the math just doesn’t add up for a civil society?

Create your website at WordPress.com
Get started
%d bloggers like this: